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CHEM 181 (47)

woc 20- enhancing taste with monosodium glutamate.docx

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CHEM 181
David Harpp

ENHANCING TASTE WITH MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE pages 166171Kikunae Ikeda chemistry professor liked kombu broth which contained dashi an extract of seaweed He wanted to know what made the broth so flavorful He found crystals that alone didnt taste like anything but they made other foods more flavorfulo He called the new taste umamio He noted that it was glutamic acid the sodium salt of which was stable and water soluble and was a candidate for commercial exploitation o Therefore MSG was marketed and was added to foods to bring out hidden flavoursIkeda patented it and sold it as a table condimentHowever now there is a lot of controversy surrounding it people accuse it of being a chemical culprit instrumental in causing conditions ranging from hypertension asthma and depression to attention deficit disorder and Chinese Restaurant Syndrome But accusations do not equal factsLater chemists found an economical way to produce glutamic acid fermentation of beet sugar or corn syrup o MSG was added to canned soups processed meats salad dressings frozen meals and a host of other foods1968 in NEJM Dr Ho Man Kwok described his Chinese Restaurant Syndrome o 15 to 20 minutes after first starting to eat lasting 2 hours o Numbness in the back of the neck gradually radiating to both arms and the back general weakness and palpitationso He did not blame MSG but he mentioned it as a possibility and this
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